SEMCO LLC Receives Patent for Controllable Chilled Beam Pump Module
Columbia, Mo.—SEMCO LLC, a leading supplier of IAQ equipment, was granted U.S. patent number 9,625,222 B2 on April 18 for its NEUTON™. The controllable chilled beam pump module (CCBPM) controls chilled beam air conditioning and heating systems in zones or multiple-zone spaces for new or retrofit education, healthcare and other commercial HVAC applications.
The NEUTON includes a pump serving each zone that both recirculates water within the module and chilled beams; and circulates water in/out of a chilled or warm water distribution system. It’s monitored/controlled by a combination of sensors, electronic valves and the building management system (BMS) to deliver pinpoint chilled beam space temperatures.
The NEUTON development was a three-year team effort for four SEMCO employee inventors, led by project leader, John C. Fischer, Director of Technology & Strategic Business Development. Other team members were Richard K. Mitchell, former product manager—Desiccant Wheels Division, who is now retired; Stephen P. Glen, test lab manager; and Steven S. Carroll, R&D
specialist. The late Kirk T. Mescher, P.E., principal, CM Engineering, Columbia, Mo., is also an inventor listed on the patent.
Since its introduction in 2016, the NEUTON has become SEMCO’s fastest growing product line. NEUTON’s emergence as the HVAC industry’s first CCBPM is giving chilled beam systems an edge in design, installation and operational costs versus alternatives, such as VRF and variable air volume (VAV) systems.
Different embodiments of the NEUTON provide heating as well as cooling, use check valves to reduce the number of control valves required, adjust the temperature to the chilled beam to avoid condensation, change pump speed to save energy or increase capacity. The NEUTON can be used on two or four-pipe hydronic systems, or a combination of them.
The first NEUTON application was the retrofit of the Robert D. Campbell Junior High School, Winchester, Ky., as part of SEMCO’s recently-introduced 3fficiency™ branding that integrates its chilled beams and the Pinnacle™ dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS). Using 46 NEUTONs enabled the circa 1970’s school building to reap significant construction savings on a chilled beam retrofit by reusing nearly all of the two-pipe system’s original piping, chiller and boiler that once supplied unit ventilators.